Page 4 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London March 31st 2016

We’re near the end of our travels, but not ready to go….just yet. The past two months have been an incredible journey, taking us to places we thought we would never see and around every bend there was more to experience, from the White Desert in Egypt to the incredible views of Wadi Rum, to the snowy mountains during the train ride on the Glacier Express. We just had a great time in Paris and now it was time to board a train for the final journey in Europe…to London via the Chunnel. In past blogs, we’ve stated how much we like train travel and this afforded us yet one more time to take in the countryside of two countries, France and England. We’re terribly impressed with the Chunnel, and there we were, onboard the Eurostar ... read more
Dave & MJ
St. Martin in the Fields
Street Musician

Europe » France » Île-de-France March 27th 2016

It’s eight pm on March 26th and we’re sitting in a restaurant called Pramil, sipping wine, chatting with our friend Michael and thankful that we are celebrating our 22ndwedding anniversary in Paris, enjoying great friendship and food. Evenings like these are precious and this is one we won’t forget soon. Michael joined us for a time in Myanmar back in 2012 as we bounced around that beautiful nation, both on the highway and even during couple of earthquakes in Mandalay. We find ourselves reflective at times like these, as earlier that day we had met another TravelBlogger, John We are often fascinated at the journeys that people take in life, whether it be actual traveling, or even a more personal journey. Any time we can meet a fellow traveler, we are always enthralled by their journeys ... read more
Paris Pastry
Eiffel Tower
The Chef Suggest

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Interlaken March 24th 2016

After witnessing the breath-taking Matterhorn near Zermatt, we wondered if the next leg of our trip would be as exciting as the past few days had been. In this smallish nation, which ranks as only the 132ndlargest in the world, how much more can there be to see? We had already witnessed so many beautiful sights…..could there be more? Absolutely! The next stop on our journey would take us to Interlaken. Once again, we were able to take a train, which is rapidly becoming our favorite way to travel. This time, we would need to take three trains to get to our next destination and we almost didn’t get off at the right station, save for Merry Jo literally saying, “I think this is our stop.” Smart girl, as it turned out to be the right ... read more
Mountains above Lauterbrunnen
Still winter up in the mountains.....
Dave in front of the Guggisberg church

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt March 19th 2016

We both agree that train travel is incredibly romantic. We’ve probably watched too many movies….but we’re Americans. We live in a country where railroads are something that blocks traffic at exactly the wrong time while you sit and watch tanker cars, spray painted by exuberant artists roll by while you just sit….but we know that in other countries, it is a way people actually travel…and we find this wonderful. As the train pulls out of the station we are grateful to be on such a wonderful trip. We’d heard about a famous train called “The Glacier Express” that went through the Swiss Alps and we wanted to go. This train offers grand windows and so the world seems only a touch away. This is one of those rare occasions you have a moment where you find ... read more
The Matterhorn Express
A stunning view
The snow is melting

Europe » Liechtenstein » Triesen March 16th 2016

So, this happens all the time….you’re sitting there having a very nice conversation when somebody interjects “I will be vacationing in Liechtenstein this year!” Okay…..that was a boldface lie. In all reality, unless you’re a fairly well-schooled geography student from Europe or really like to ski, you may not have spent much time thinking about the sixth smallest and one of two doubly land-locked nations in the world. When it comes to being small, this principality is roughly 25 km (15 miles) north to south and barely 15 km (9 miles) wide. Suree, it’s bigger than Vatican City and Monaco, but you could easily drive right past it without blinking. They don’t have their own money (they use the Swiss franc) and haven’t had an army for, well forever. They finally granted women the right to ... read more
Vaduz Castle
Wild Garlic Soup
Beautiful local farms

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Lucerne March 13th 2016

Now, we’ll grant you that most people living in the Northern Hemisphere like to find somewhere nice and warm about his time of year. They tire of perhaps being trapped in doors, looking at gray skies that produce rain or even snow (not to mention bone-chilling winds). We on the other hand were looking forward to cooling off after a month in the Middle East, where the temperatures were running some 10 to 20 degrees F hotter than the norm. When it gets to be that warm and you didn’t bring your shorts and flip flops because it wasn’t supposed to be that warm and that type of dress is sort of frowned upon in some countries, you are not as comfortable as you would like to be. This can make a traveler kind of fussy ... read more
More cheese, please!
MJ on Lake Lucerne
Classic hotel on the hilltop

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem March 9th 2016

For those of you who have been holding off on coming to Israel because you are world travelers and still have some Muslim countries you want to visit, we can let you know that you don’t have to wait any longer. Israel has stopped stamping passports. When you arrive they print a small sticker the size of many visas we’ve had and hand it to you. They do not affix it to your passport pages; they do not stamp your book. We believe they realized their political and religious issues had negatively impacted tourism or circumstances and they were impacting people’s ability to travel to other countries. So – problem solved. They are not stamping the passports. The amazing thing about having the wonderful opportunity to travel is being exposed to the differences in nations and ... read more
Walling Wall
Viewpoint near St. George Monastery
Jordan River Baptisim

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 2nd 2016

Amman From the minute we stepped off the plane and entered the airport in Amman, the vibe was good. We had a feeling that we were going to like Jordan. Amman is a big, clean, modern, progressive city, renowned in this part of the world for its universities and medical care. After the less than clean environs of Egypt, this was a most welcome change. Thanks to great planning by Brendan, we moved very quickly through immigration and sailed through customs. The two year-old airport had a Starbucks…..detour!! About thirty minutes later, we arrived at our hotel, which is named the “Toledo Hotel.” Ironic in that is the name of Dave’s hometown and not the most common city name around. We spent our first and last nights here, ensconced near the downtown area of the capital. ... read more
The Chef and MJ
The Monastery
Jordanian Lentil soup

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt February 26th 2016

As our train rolled into Luxor we realized one of the advantages of hiring a local guide is that he or she has that extra shred of knowledge that can make life a lot easier just when you need it. As we neared our destination point, Ragab made arrangements for the train porter to provide an assist, as the train station at Luxor was “undergoing renovations.” On the surface a rather innocuous statement, but it turned out to be a gross understatement as the entire platform had its tiles ripped up, leaving only a sandy surface. Luggage on wheels would only provide good entertainment for the locals, watching the tourists attempt to drag their luggage for about one hundred yards through the sand. Two porters grabbed our bags and made a mad dash for the station ... read more
Great Columns
Nile River
Avenue of the Rams

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel February 22nd 2016

Our return from the White Desert found us at the train station in Giza, which is on the west side of the Nile from Cairo. This was good, bad and good. Good in that it made the drive back from the White Desert a little shorter, bad in that we arrived some five hours before our train was scheduled to leave, and good in that Mohamed realized that without his guidance, we most likely would have missed our overnight train to the south. Hard to believe, but quite true. At this point, we were just coming off a night sleeping on the ground in the white desert, hadn’t seen a bathroom since we had lunch at Yasser’s house in Bahariya Oasis, and were in need of a shower, desperately in need of a shower. And we ... read more
Pharaoh Ramses II Temple
Wee hours of the night

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